Tuesday, April 09, 2002

The Boston situation seems to deteriorate by the minute. Now the Boston Herald is reporting that the accused priest Paul Shanley claimed in 1995 that he had been sexually abused in the seminary himself by another priest and one of the predecessors of either Cardinal Law or Cardinal O'Connor:

Shanley stated in a Sept. 25, 1995, letter to one of his clerical supervisors, Rev. Brian Flatley, that he was himself ``sexually abused as a teenager and later as a seminarian'' by a priest and by the ``predecessor to one of the two cardinals who now debate my fate.''

The unitiated will imediately presume that he is referring to Medieros or Cooke the immediate predecessors of Law and O'Connor, but since he says that he was a seminarian at the time it could be someone else. Anyone who preceeded Law and O'Connor in Boston and NY would be considered their "predecessors"; Cardinal Cushing would have been the Archbishop of Boston when Shanley was a seminarian, he was succeeded by Cardinal Medeiros, in New York Cardinal Spellman would have been the Archbishop of New York when Shanley was a seminarian, he was succeeded by Cardinal Cooke (whose cause for Canonization has been introduced by Father Benedict Groeschel). In regard to Medeiros, there has already been one story accusing him of abusing someone. It received little attention at the time it was released, partly because it seemed pretty lame to accuse someone who is not around to defend himself.

An amazing document that has been released by this Shanley incident is a letter that was written by Cardinal Medeiros to Cardinal Seper in the Vatican in 1979. In it Medieros says:

'Where large numbers of homosexuals are present in a seminary, other homosexuals are quickly attracted. Other healthier young men tend to be repelled.

In the letter itself, he claims that this was the case in Boston but that they had cleaned it up. This is the first time, to my knowledge that we have any public admission (albeit after the fact) that the hierarchy was aware of this problem. If Medeiros was a guilty party, one wonders what he really was doing to clean it up.